Unless Congress has intervened by now and sent a letter to the U.S. Postal Service -- probably via FedEx -- declaring that first-class Saturday delivery simply must continue, we may be bereft of weekend mailbox missives beginning on Aug. 1.
The good news: no bills to ruin my Saturdays. The bad news: no million-dollar checks to brighten my Saturdays and oh so many, many days after that. Call me crazy optimistic, but I always run to the mailbox, eagerly expecting roughly a million dollars (it could be more, and that would be fine, too) to arrive on any given day. It might be accrued interest from some long-ago, in-my-favor really big mistake by the Internal Revenue Service. Or maybe Mark Zuckerberg will need
Therefore, I'm not keen on reducing the number of opportunities per week that these things could happen. Of course, even with Saturday delivery, the bank would put a hold on such a large check, and I couldn't access it for at least a week. The delay would drive me waka-waka with impatience and greedy with frustration, and as soon as the funds were released I'd squander it all on Bentleys, ginger beer and English bulldogs, and pretty soon I'd be writhing around in the gutter, clutching an empty bottle and
So, yeah, maybe Saturday delivery is bad.
I 'heart' mail
People make fun of the Postal Service, which I don't understand. After the reduced-service announcement last week, online comments ranged from jokes about using delivery drones to complete indifference as to the existence of the USPS at all, with most folks favoring instant electronic communications.
Sure, the post is not instant, if by instant you mean taking no time at all. But when you think about it, it's pretty darned amazing how you can drop a cute little Valentine's Day card with "I Choo-Choo-Choose You!" and a picture of a little train on the front into a big blue box on the corner of Main Street and Nowhere and have it travel to a huge warehouse, mingle with millions of other pieces of mail in some kind of Mousetrap/Tom-and-Jerry-cartoon-warehouse/shell-game kind of operation and then presto-chango, as if by magic, the cute card appears the next day through the slot in your cousin's front door on the other side of the country, despite sleet or snow or the crabby little bulldog frothing at the mouth in the front yard. Unless it's sleeting or snowing, and then he's frothing inside, where it's warm.
And all for a mere 45 cents. No, 46. What is it now ... 47? Whatever. It's still way cheaper than you could possibly get it there yourself. And heck, I'm willing to pony up a buck a letter so long as we still get our mail.
How about saving the day with some extra cost-cutting measures for postal carriers, like ringing only once instead of always twice? Or perhaps, speaking of ponies, we could reactivate the Pony Express for Saturday delivery. Then we'd receive our letters and also get to pet a pony and maybe ride it around the driveway for a while. Of course that would kind of take the "express" part of the equation for the next customer.
Gifts of the present
I love sending cards. Getting cards. I don't want an e-birthday card, even one that's so interactive it has real candles that poke through my computer screen and set my hair on fire. Real mail is like getting little presents every day to unwrap and sometimes toss in the recycling bin. Why today I just got a letter from AT&T offering me a special $84 U-verse limited time bundle offer, another from Geico on how to save $500, and still another from a real estate agent with a newsletter providing: "Fun facts about chocolate for Valentine's Day." For instance, did you know the word "chocolate" comes from the Aztec word "xocolatl," meaning "bitter water"? Not a very appealing term, but that will not affect my See's Scotchmallow consumption.
True, none of those missives brought me my million-dollar check, or even a personal letter. But still, they're more fun than a barrel of spam. And at least my friend's 6-year-old daughter, a Girl Scout Daisy, confirms that -- despite rain, sleet or service cutbacks, she will personally deliver the two boxes of Thank U Berry Munch and Dulce de Leche cookies that I ordered. Even on a Saturday.